With Evo Series' speedy and precise sound profile, the Leggera Litz takes delivers musical notes with high quality clarity and soundstage to audio enthusiasts without burning a hole on your pocket - I agree this to a certain extend. Continue reading to find out more!
Thank you, NocturnaL Audio for loaning me the Leggera Litz in-ear monitors (IEMs) cable. It was loaned to me in exchange for my honest review and opinion.
NocturnaL Audio was founded in Singapore. Initially, they were offering IEM reshelling services as well as manufacturing IEM cables. One of their main objectives is to provide affordable upgrade cables for audiophiles. Besides reasonable pricing, they offer numerous custom-made cables. You can always find a reliable upgrade cable no matter how rare your IEM is.
Evo Series was developed to cater the needs of audio enthusiasts that want a more durable cables. Every model from this series are designed with durability in mind - using more long-lasting parts is one of the approaches. According to NocturnaL Audio, the Leggera Litz could be one the best choices for lovers of intimate vocals in an immersive hall of space.
Soundstage improvement seems to be a selling point of this cable. I will justify the claim at the end of this review!
The cable was loaned to me without the official packaging. However, based on my purchase on Asteria Trimetal from NocturnaL Audio, I can comment a little on the packaging.
This could be the simplest IEM unboxing process – there is literally only a box, just a box.
Similar to Avalon - triple balanced armature drivers IEMs from NocturnaL Audio, there is literally zero efforts put in designing the packaging. I believe this could be a measure adopted by NocturnaL Audio to minimize the cost imposed to end users.
Material: 25 AWG Single-Crystal (OCC) Litz Silver-Plater Copper (SPC)
Number of conductors: 4
Treatments: Oxide-Inhibitor Compound (OIC) treated
Build: 100% Handmade to ensure highest quality
Length: 1.2m (fixed)
Plug: 2.5mm balanced / 3.5mm single-ended Carbon-fibre Gold-plated straight
Rated at 25 AWG, I do feel slight stiffness from Leggera Litz. Cable stiffness is always a deal-breaker - I love ALO Audio Reference 8 but it does not go into my collection solely because of its stiffness. I am a little affected by the microphonics from the cable when I am moving with IEMs on.
Leggera Litz comes in 4 conductor. The conductors are braided sturdily without any feeling of falling apart. Quality of the braid will always reflect the quality of the cable - people judge from the first moment when they see the products. I would say Leggera Litz's status is well represented by the braiding.
Users can choose the termination on the bottom as well as the top for Leggera Litz when placing the order. The demo unit loaned to me is in 0.78mm 2 pin and 2.5mm balanced terminated. This suits me well because most of my IEMs are in 2-pin and I use 2.5mm balanced output extensively (all three digital audio players are utilizing 2.5mm balanced output).
The 2.5mm balanced jack is made in house by NoctunaL Audio. It is simple and lean - no redundancy. There is a carbon fiber coating on the jack, again to show the status of Leggera Litz as a premium upgrade cable for your IEMs. There is a stress relief near the jack to absorb excessive stress when the cable is bent near the jack. This is the weakest part of the cable and the implementation of stress relief is indeed useful.
Similar to the balanced audio jack, the Y-Split can be defined as a minimalist Y-split. The design is similar too - with a layer of carbon fiber coating coated on it. There is a chin slider implemented. Chin slider is extra useful for a user like me - who always moves around (walking and commuting) with IEMs on. It helps to reduce the cable movement as well as microphonics. However, I would appreciate a more user-friendly chin slider. The utilized chin-slider is hard to adjust - it is like a piece of rubber band tied to the cable.
NoctunaL Audio uses Vampirik 2nd Generation connector for EVO series. The 2-Pin connector is designed for a recessed 2-pin port. They fit perfectly into my ItsFitLab Fusion which utilized recessed 2-pin port. There is no ear-guide for Leggera Litz. For those who prefer an ear-guide, you might need to get those self-install ear-guide.
To analyze the sonic quality of Leggera Litz, four IEMs from different brands are chosen to pair and match with the cables:
I choose these four IEMs based on the price. I believe Leggera Litz is targeted for those audio enthusiasts who are currently using an IEMs around USD$500. iBasso DX220 loaned to me from Zeppelin and Co. is used as the music source for analysis.
The sound signature of Leggera Litz can be classified as warm. The presentation is smooth and non-fatiguing. It could be a good choice for casual listening because I can listen to it for hours without feeling tired. However, to achieve this comfort level in presentation, there is a trade-off - clarity had been sacrificed.
Based on my experience in IEM cables, Leggera Litz could be one of the cable that retains the least clarity.
NocturnaL Audio claims that Leggera Litz has the ability to improve the soundstage of your IEMs. How true is it? Here's the answer.
Personally I do not observe significant improvement in term of soundstage on horizontal direction. Vertically yes, but in bare minimum amount. This helps to form a slightly oval headroom. I am totally disappointed to NocturnaL Audio Avalon and Leggera Litz pairing - congested and muddy.
Clarity and soundstage improvement which are mentioned as selling point by NocturnaL Audio faced an error - Error 404: Not Found.
I do observed the presentation is more distant away but I do not take this as soundstage improvement. My belief in soundstage improvement is better accuracy in portraying position of each instruments and vocals, forming a three-dimensional "virtual" stage instead of pushing everything miles away.
A simple equation of mine: Distanced presentation does not equal to soundstage improvement.
Tested with Moondrop Blessing, the IEMs with lightest bass performance among the four chosen IEMs. The Leggera Litz aids to provide additional kick in the lows - resulting in a more natural, lively presentation. It pulls Blessing from the pool of technicality, injects some soul to the overall sound profile. I think Leggera Litz could be a good pairing with those IEMs with more "dry" or "technical" sounding.
The lows kicks deeper vertically. This could be the reason why it gives me a feeling of listening to a oval headroom when Leggera Litz is paired. This was mentioned earlier in the article and here's my comment: I agreed with the term "speedy and precise sound profile" but limited to low frequency. Clarity and soundstage wise, I made my comment previously - simply disagree.
With Evo Series' speedy and precise sound profile, the Leggera Litz takes delivers musical notes with high quality clarity and soundstage to audio enthusiasts without burning a hole on your pocket.
Campfire Audio IO - one of the heavily discussed IEMs on Head-Fi is used to test the mids performance of Leggera Litz. IO is powered by two BA drivers - one lows and one highs. Mids is handled by the decay from lows and the early kick from the highs. Paired with Leggera Litz, I realized the profile of IO changed - the mids has been pulled backward, forming a V-shaped sound signature.
Listening to mandopop, vocals are layered behind lows and highs. It is indeed enjoyable to listen to it however, as a "vocal-lover", I find myself struggle in focusing to the mids. This could be personal and subjective. For those who like to have a more musical or rather V-shaped of sound signature, addition of Leggera Litz could be one of the good choices.
This section of the sonic analysis is handled by my favorite single balanced armature (BA) driver IEMs from Jomo Audio - Haka. Haka has a decent balance sound signature, slight touch on the warmer side despite facing the limitation from number of drivers. It is indeed a good breakthrough in driver designing. However, the breakthrough is pulled back by Leggera Litz - it shows all the cons of single BA IEMs.
The extension in highs is constrained due to the warm sound signature of Leggera Litz. The killing of highs cause the overall fidelity to suffer. Muddiness in the presentation is the side-effect of early roll-off of highs. Besides that, the space and airiness of Haka suffer too. I think this could be a deal-breaker for this cable. Pairing is very essential.
The Leggera Litz retails for USD$145.99. It can be ordered on NocturnaL Audio’s official website. Users have the freedom to choose the termination (2.5mm balanced or 3.5mm single-ended) and pin (MMCX or 0.78mm 2-Pin).
The Leggera Litz could be a good option for audiophiles who are looking for a warmer cable to reduce the dryness of their IEMs, in the price range of USD$150. With their extensive experience in designing IEM cables, I believe NocturnaL Audio has achieved its ability to build a physically durable IEM cable.
This is copied from my review of Avalon on Headphonesty:
However, it’s a fact that cannot be denied – there is still room for improvement sonically, especially in today’s era. Comparable models with a more affordable price tag are already available on the market.